OECD Countries See Record Influx of International Students in 2022

United States North America International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Nov 09, 2023

students abroad

More than 1.9 million residence permits were issued to international students pursuing higher education in OECD countries during 2022, a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), has revealed.

The report titled “The OECD's International Migration Outlook” shows the number of new international students in OECD nations has recovered after the COVID-19 pandemic, Erudera.com reports.

According to the OECD, international student enrollment in nearly half of OECD member nations reached a record high over the past year.

Data indicate there was a 61 percent increase in study permits issued to new international students moving to OECD countries within a decade, specifically between 2012 and 2022.

Moreover, the same report states that the number of residence permits granted to international students has increased 24 percent since 2019 and 32 percent since 2021.

"This is 24 percent more than in 2019 and the highest number ever registered. The number of permits issued to international students in the OECD increased by 42 percent relative to 2021, and by 30 percent across OECD European countries. The increase was particularly large in countries where border closures were lifted more recently, such as in Japan or New Zealand,” the report states.

It further adds that most international students across the OECD come from Asia, primarily from China and India. In 2021, 60 percent of international students in these countries were Chinese and Indian.

Besides China and India, other countries sending most students across the OECD in 2022 were:

  • Vietnam
  • Germany
  • France
  • Latin America

"International migration to OECD countries was higher in 2022 than in any other year since data has been available," OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann said at a press conference.

According to the report, for the fourth year in a row, the United Kingdom is the most popular destination for international students to pursue higher education, surpassing the United States. Other top study destinations are Canada, Australia, and Japan.

In total, across the OECD, the US is the home to nearly 20 percent of all international students, whereas the UK hosts 14 percent and Australia nine percent, ranking second and third, respectively.

For the first time in 15 years, India is the largest source of international students in the US, overcoming China. The US Department of Homeland Security revealed there were 320,000 Indian student visa holders in the US in 2022.

Indian student enrollment has also increased in the UK and Australia this year. The UK issued 142,848 sponsored visas to Indian students, while Australia welcomed 95,79 Indians between January - April 2023.

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